Let's look at top-tier VCs. For every 6000 startups they track annually, they will meet with 2000 and invest in about 20.
That's 0,3% of the pool of startups traced.
We believe that the same logic applies to finding startups for collaborations, but generally, corporate innovators are ill-equipped to do that efficiently. Also since companies do not want to publicly disclose all of their innovation challenges and needs for competitive reasons.
Using market intelligence tools or specialist scouting services might be the better way.
What's on offer?
Tools and services are abundant. It's no unified field.
Various terms are used, including tech crawlers, tech transfer marketplaces, university tech transfer offices, closed and open challenge listing sites, industry-specific search engines, curated directories, incubators, accelerators, professional networking tools, matchmaking events, and tech Scouters.
The whole startup scouting industry seems to be using Crunchbase as a starting point.
Companies like Pitchbook, for example, combine startup data with news and industry analysis. Mergeflow provides a do-it-yourself interface to browse through research data. And algorithmic Scouters like Ezassi and Novable use AI and machine learning to comb through various data sets in parallel.
In contrast, companies like TNW offer a human-curated service complementing a startup's profile with more granular data.
When selecting a tool or service, bear in mind that:
1: Finding startups cannot be entirely planned. Startups launch daily or cease to exist. And so opportunities appear unexpectedly.
2: People are often unsure of what they are searching for making it difficult to express what they require from a scouter.
3: Scouting can be costly. Moreover, no single source gives 100% coverage.
A 'scouting stack' can solve much if not all of the above.
With Scoutely SRM, for example, it's easy to integrate and stack various scouting approaches to optimize the reach and cost of startup search.
When it comes to collaborating with startups, we’re still at the beginning of a journey.
Companies can work with startups in a targeted and individual way. Or, they can organize discoveries through third-party-led programs.
There is no single best way. So, understandably, companies want to mix and match scouting approaches and startup engagements to learn what works for them.
With Scoutely SRM, they get an enabling infrastructure to manage startup discovery in a structured and automated way - from planning startup searches and getting stakeholder support to scouting and assessing startups and shaping collaborations.
Scoutely SRM is scouting agnostic. The platform can integrate and aggregate the data from almost any source via API or export/import process.
Companies can then more easily improve startup findability. And accelerate decision-making with greater precision while optimizing the attribution. I.e., the cost per startup found per source.
Do you want to set the foundations straight? Do you seek to increase the return on scouting?
We love to talk to you.